PART I. Senator Grace Poe not in favor of magna carta for journalists: "Journalism is freedom of expression... And you’re keeping watch also for the people."

Senator Grace Poe reveals one lesson she learned from mom, Susan Roces: "...huwag mong mawalain ang sarili mo."


Kumusta ang unang araw ni Grace Poe sa Senado?

Ito ang bungad na tanong sa kanya ng ilang miyembro ng entertainment press na naka-lunch niya noong August 17, sa Victorino’s Restaurant sa Quezon City.

“First day, yun nga ang palagi kong sinasabi, alam n’yo ang title na Kung Mangarap Ka at Magising?

"Yun bang, bago ko pinikit ang mata ko, yung mga katabi ko, si Maning Borlaza, di ba? Gladys Reyes, Bobby Andrews, masaya, masaya… tapos pagdilat ko ulit, Frank Drilon, Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero—iba naman."

Sina Maning Borlaza, Gladys Reyes, at Bobby Andrews ay mga kasamahan noon ni Grace sa Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), kung saan nanungkulan siya bilang chairman bago tumakbong senador noong May 2013 elections.

Sina Frank Drilon, Loren Legarda, at Chiz Escudero naman ang ilan sa mga kasamahan niya ngayon sa Senado.

Pagpapatuloy ng neophyte senator, "Pero, like anything, it’s important that your principle, your set of principles, what you believe in..."

Saka niya binanggit ang isa sa mga payo raw ng inang si Susan Roces.

"Yun nga ang advice sa akin ng nanay ko, huwag mong mawalain ang sarili mo. Sabi niya, ’Basta Grace, huwag mong mawalain ang sarili mo.’

"In short, pinalaki niya ako na yung moral compass ko..."

Hindi naituloy ng senadora ang sasabihin dahil nagkuwento muna ito tungkol sa naging usapan nila ng dating Movie Queen.

Aniya, "Ito pa ang nakakaloka sa kanya, e, di July 2, technically, umpisa na ang aming trabaho, ang aming term.

"But it doesn’t really begin after the SONA [State of the Nation Address]. Kasi yung SONA ang first official, so sabi ng Mom ko, July 1, then sabi niya, ‘Di ba, July 2, mag-uumpisa na kayo?’

"’A, hindi pa po, wala pang Plenary yun, wala pang SONA.’

"’Hindi, di ba, ang term mo, magsisimula ng July 2? Aba’y pumasok ka!’

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"Sabi ko, ’Mom, wala pa akong kuwarto doon dahil mag-a-assign pa lang ng mga kuwartong nabakante, ganyan.’

"’Alam mo ang gawin mo, kumuha ka ng desk at umupo ka sa hallway.’

"Sabi ko sa kanya, ’Ano ka ba naman, parang you’re joking?’

"’A, hindi, because it’s really important. The people who voted for you have to know that you’re showing up already and that you’re doing your job.’

"So, sabi niya, ’Basta magpakita ka ro’n.’"

At kahit pa sinabihan siya ng mga kapwa senador ng "You don’t have to," nanaig ang pagiging masunurin niyang anak.

"... my Mom, alam ko, magtatampo-tampo ‘yan, kaya sabi ko, ’Sige na nga, I’ll go.’

"So, I personally filed my bill and normally you can transmit it through your staff.

"But it’s also nice, symbolic act, to be able to give your first bill, and I’m grateful also to my mom’s input when it comes to those things."

MAGNA CARTA FOR JOURNALISTS. Si Grace ang head ng Senate Committee on Public Information. Dahil dito, kinuha namin ang opinyon niya tungkol sa panukalang batas na gustong isulong ni Senator Jinggoy Estrada—ang "magna carta for journalist."

Sa ilalim ng Senate Bill 380, kakailanganing kumuha ng professional journalism examination ang mga gustong maging miyembro ng media. At ang mga makakapasa lamang dito ang maaaring magkaroon ng pribiliheyo o benepisyo mula sa kanilang employer, sa batas, at sa PCJ (Philippine Council for Journalists).

Ayon sa suhestiyon ni Grace, “Siguro, if you have an agency na lang that you respect, non-government agency, that will accredit the journalist.

"For example, yung mga I.D. ninyo, that should be enough.

"Journalism is freedom of expression, e, di ba?

"And you’re keeping watch also for the people. Hindi mo naman puwedeng sabihin na puwede ka lang maging journalist kung ganito ka, kung ganyan ka.

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"The same way, hindi rin naman kami binibigyan ng exam to run for public office, di ba?"

Hindi raw sang-ayon si Grace sa nais mangyari ni Jinggoy.

Aniya, “I am not going to support that but, I mean, I hear it so that he can give out his points the same way that there are so many things that I need to hear that I don’t necessarily agree with.

"But as a chairman of my committee... my responsibility is that people will be able to understand the issue and see that we’re making sure that we are supporting bills that are really just and that can really help them."

At kung meron mang umaabuso, may mungkahi ang senadora.

“My problem kasi with that, I think... what Senator Jinggoy might be coming from, you know in politics and in showbiz, kayo, reputable journalist and writers, but there’s others also that take advantage. Na pupunta roon na parang, ’Kilala ba kita?’

"So, sabi ko, you can solve that by having like yung group n’yo— meron kayong accredited journalists."


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